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January 02 , 2009

The Man Who Ate Everything


Funny, outrageous, passionate, and unrelenting, Vogue's food writer, Jeffrey Steingarten, will stop at nothing, as he makes clear in these forty delectable pieces.
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Comedy Description: Sonny the Scoundrel lives with Grandpap, the wizard in their rustic village of Sow's Teat.  Sonny is dashing and handsome, but his reputation is widely known.  When a former flame announces her marriage to a suitor from a distant city, he knows it will be a grand affair attended by visitors from far…

Whether he is in search of a foolproof formula for sourdough bread (made from wild yeast, of course) or the most sublime French fries (the secret: cooking them in horse fat) or the perfect piecrust (Fannie Farmer – that is, Marion Cunningham – comes to the rescue), he will go to any length to find the answer.

At the drop of an apron he hops a plane to Japan to taste Wagyu, the hand-massaged beef, or to Palermo to scale Mount Etna to uncover the origins of ice cream. The love of choucroute takes him to Alsace, the scent of truffles to the Piedmont, the sizzle of ribs on the grill to Memphis to judge a barbecue contest, and both the unassuming and the haute cuisines of Paris demand his frequent assessment.

Inevitably these pleasurable pursuits take their toll. So we endure with him a week at a fat farm and commiserate over low-fat products and dreary diet cookbooks to bring down the scales. But salvation is at hand when the French Paradox (how can they eat so richly and live so long?) is unearthed, and a "miraculous" new fat substitute, Olestra, is unveiled, allowing a plump gourmand to have his fill of fat without getting fatter.

Here is the man who ate everything and lived to tell about it. And we, his readers, are hereby invited to the feast in this delightful book.
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